This was the first hotel in Bali I ever visited, in 2003, a year after it opened. It has rather an ungainly entrance on the road and you might be forgiven in thinking ‘what on earth have I let myself in for’, but then once you enter you will be wowed by the space, architecture and friendliness of the family of staff.
Part of Lifestyle Retreats whose motto is passionforlife, The Bale, in Nusa Dua, was the first of the group to open. With just 26 adult-only luxury pavilions, each with their own private pool, it really doesn’t come much better than this. The thatched stone pavilions are massive with huge bathrooms featuring freestanding baths, indoor and outdoor showers and the private pools can be accessed from inside the pavilion through the bathroom or from the huge, shaded day bed in the little garden.
We stayed in number 30, just a short walk from the main pool, reception and spa. It’s hard to leave your room here, but leave you must as Faces restaurant, next to the main pool has a wonderful menu of international, Thai and Indonesian dishes which you can watch being cooked in the open kitchen. We had an extra spicy version of the Chicken Pad Gaprawo, which was fragrant, colourful and simply delicious and served with the friendliness and passion that the staff at a Lifestyle Retreat are known for.
The Bale is perfect place to start your journey into the Island of the Gods as its just 25 minutes from the airport, but before you leave you must have the Foot Treatment and if you can book Sudarmi, her hands are magic and your feet are floating on air after a wash, traditional Balinese scrub and deep Reflexology massage.